Chlamydiae are being increasingly recognized as an important cause of human disease. The known geographical distribution of lymphogranuloma venereum and the role of chlamydiae as agents of sexually transmitted diseases are reviewed. The presence of chlamydiae in the urethra and the cervix, and their etiological relationship to genital infections, first recognized in connexion with ocular infections, have been proved in a number of studies in selected populations in a few countries. Chlamydiae appear to be the most important agent of nongonococcal urethritis, which in some cases appears now to be more frequent than gonococcal urethritis. In addition to their association with cervicitis, chlamydiae appear also to be fairly frequent in the cervix of apparently normal, asymptomatic, and sexually active women. The role of chlamydiae as agents of other human diseases still requires to be clarified. The organisms have been found in association with pelvic inflammatory disease, neonatal pneumonia, pharyngitis, and otitis. There is need for additional studies in view of the fact that effective chemotherapy is available. An outline is given of laboratory methods that may be useful for the diagnosis of chlamydial infections
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